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ASRT Staffing Survey Shows Increase in Medical Imaging Vacancy Rates

May 08, 2023

Vacancy rates for all medical imaging disciplines increased substantially in 2023, according to the ASRT Radiologic Sciences Staffing and Workplace Survey. Vacancy rates represent the number of unfilled positions that are actively being recruited.

All medical imaging disciplines reported their highest vacancy rate levels since ASRT started tracking staffing metrics in 2003. For example, the estimated radiographer vacancy rate this year is an all-time high of 18.1%, an increase from 6.2% in 2021.

The data outlined in the ASRT survey align with increased vacancy rates in health care settings throughout the country. Survey results from the American Hospital Association, National Nurses United, Hospital and Healthcare Association of Pennsylvania and many others point to spikes in vacancy rates over the past several years.

“During the pandemic, we ramped up our efforts to support members through open access resources, free COVID-19 continuing education, advocacy support and membership grants from the ASRT Foundation, but we also understood that the pandemic could affect medical imaging vacancy rates, so the survey results aren’t surprising,” said ASRT CEO and Executive Director Melissa B. Pergola, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(M), FASRT. “We’ll use the survey data to continue to develop tools, services and initiatives to support the nation’s medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals so they can continue to provide patients with top-notch care.”

ASRT’s 2023 radiologic sciences staffing survey identified the following vacancy rate increases from 2021:

  • Cardiovascular interventional technology increased from 7.1% to 18.6%.
  • Computed tomography increased from 8.7% to 17.7%.
  • Sonography increased from 6.9% to 16.7%.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging increased from 8.7% to 16.2%.
  • Nuclear medicine increased from 4.2% to 14.5%.
  • Mammography increased from 4.3% to 13.6%.
  • Bone densitometry increased from 3.8% to 6.9%.

The increases follow similar trends reported in the ASRT 2022 Radiation Therapy Staffing and Workplace Survey. The vacancy rate for radiation therapy was 10.7%, up more than three percentage points from 2020, and more than triple the percentage rate in 2018. The vacancy rate for dosimetry was 11.4%, up from two years prior, and more than four times the percentage rate in 2018.

In addition to discipline specific vacancy rates, the radiologic sciences staffing survey outlines changes in full time equivalent staff, vacancy rates by U.S. regions and facility demographics. For example, the majority of survey respondents, 53%, work at hospitals, another 13.7% work at imaging centers, and 9.6% work in physician’s offices. Other types of facilities where respondents work include large and small clinics, government/VA hospitals, rural critical access hospitals and education, among others.

ASRT emailed the biennial survey in Feb. 2023 to 23,536 radiology department managers across the United States. At the survey's close in April 2023, 490 respondents submitted completed questionnaires, resulting in an overall response rate of 2.1% and margin of error of ±4.4% at the 95% confidence level.

ASRT members can access the complete 2023 survey here.